I recently came across a fascinating Field and Stream article written by Charlie Booher concerning the first ever documented smallmouth bass being caught in Montana’s famed Bitterroot trout fishery outside of Missoula. Long time fishing guide and Montana Wildlife Federation employee Jeff Lukas was quoted in the piece and with decades of experience in the region, I figured we better get to the bottom of it.

So where did the smallies come from? Aren’t rainbow and brown trout also invasive species to the area? Are there native trout species that also exist there? What are Jeff’s thoughts on whether or not these voracious bass can survive the shallow and frigid winter temps of the Bitterroot system? Why are they a threat to trout and what is the potential economic fallout? Does he support Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks decision to implement an immediate ‘Catch and Kill’ policy on smallmouth caught in the area?

Next we check in with Dr. Kesley Banks Associate Research Scientist for the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico StudiesShe currently is working with a team to track the movements of certain shark species in the Gulf of Mexico. The hope is that the research will help scientists better understand shark migration and behavior. In the grand scheme of animal/wildlife science, we are way behind the curve when it comes to what we know about our oceans apex predators.

We get into the issue of shark depredation on recreational angler’s catches and some new fishing tackle designed specifically to deter sharks from showing interest in a fish on the end of an angler’s line. What about the United States success managing shark populations compared to the rest of the globe? Dr. Banks also shares some fascinating info on highly sought after Amberjack and Red Snapper numbers in the Gulf.

(Mako shark migration in the Gulf of Mexico)